Gutters are an important part of your home, making sure that your roof, foundation, and yard are equipped to deal with heavy rainfall. But in the pursuit of more aesthetically pleasing options for the distribution of rainwater, some people experiment with other options. One of these alternatives is the chain downspout, also known as the rain chain. They can create a pleasing water feature that many find to be soothing, but do they measure up against more traditional gutter downspouts?
The chain downspout has actually existed for centuries. It can be traced back to Japan, where it is known as the kusari-doi and is often found on Buddhist temples. When rain starts to fall, these chains direct water from a gutter down to a chain, where it runs down a series of decorative cups before eventually reaching either the ground or a small catch basin. They can be a beautiful ornamental addition to your home, but it should be mentioned that when it comes to performance, gutter downspouts simply get the job done when it counts.
The Strengths of a Traditional Gutter
The main point to consider when comparing traditional gutter downspouts to chain downspouts is volume of water. Simply put, a rain chain cannot handle the same kind of flow that a gutter downspout can. This means that during periods of heavy rain, a gutter with a chain downspout can quickly start filling with no place to deposit water. With this in mind, it’s safe to say that setting up a chain as a replacement for a downspout is only asking for problems down the line. It’s much more sensible to look at chain downspouts as decorative supplements to existing downspouts, and not as true replacements.
Additionally, there is the issue of standing water. A good gutter downspout is designed to direct water away from your home, but a chain downspout can’t do this. As previously mentioned, the water runs down into a catch basin. Unless this runoff is collected (and possibly reused) effectively, you can be left with pools of stagnant water. These pools can potentially attract insects – mosquitoes and other flying bugs are notorious for using standing water as a breeding ground. And if your catch basin overflows, or if you don’t have a basin in place at all, the water just collects straight on the ground, where it can erode your lawn and even begin to break down your home’s foundation.
Go With Gutters
To summarize, traditional gutter downspouts simply stack up better than rain chains when put to the test. They endure heavy rain better, they effectively redirect rainwater, and they don’t leave pools of standing water that attract pests and damage soil. This isn’t to say that chain downspouts have no use, but they aren’t equipped for heavy lifting and are better suited as additional ornamentation. If your current gutters aren’t getting the job done, get in touch with American Hill Country Gutters today. We can get you started with a free estimate, and soon your home will be dealing with rain more effectively than ever before.